Williams v. State
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
549 S.W.2d 183 (1977)
Williams (defendant) was convicted of robbing a storekeeper. At trial, Williams was assisted by a court-appointed lawyer, but Williams conducted much of his own defense. The storekeeper testified that Williams robbed him on a prior occasion. The judge sustained Williams's untimely general objection to this evidence, even though: (1) such an objection was insufficient to preserve the issue for appeal, (2) Williams himself cross examined the storekeeper about the alleged first robbery, and (3) Williams requested no other relief. The judge also instructed the jury to take the alleged first robbery into account only for limited purposes. On appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Williams argued: (1) evidence of the alleged first robbery should have triggered a mistrial, (2) the judge failed to take Williams's ignorance of the law into proper account, and (3) the judge denied Williams a fair and impartial trial by allowing Williams to conduct his own defense.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Dally, Commissioner)
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